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WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis 4 hours ago
Read
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 26, 2008

Marseille's Samassa shuns Cisse comparison

Mamadou Samassa insists he is not the 'new Djibril Cisse', even though he has been drafted in by the Marseille to plug the gap left by the France striker's departure.

Samassa, 22, completed his switch to OM from Le Mans on Tuesday for an undisclosed fee.

His record at Les Manceaux - four goals in 43 appearances - leaves a lot to be desired but he has been bought by the Mediterranean side to cover for the loss of Cisse, who last week joined Sunderland on loan for the rest of the season.

Samassa is shrugging off comparisons with Cisse and intends to make his own individual mark at OM.

'People are going to make this comparison but I am not going to think of myself like that,' he said.

'I know that people aren't going to ask me to straightaway do what Djibril Cisse did.

'And I hope to write my own piece of history, so it will be a different story with me.'

Samassa, who plays for the France Under-21s, did not feature in any of Le Mans' first three matches of the new Ligue 1 campaign.

But OM immediately turned their attention to him when Cisse opted to make the switch to the English Premier League.

'Everything happened so quickly,' added Samassa, who is believed to have signed a three-year deal with Marseille.

'After the departure of Cisse, (OM sporting director) Jose Anigo contacted my people and then it all happened quickly.

'When I heard of OM's interest, I was immediately attracted by the challenge. It is a very proud moment when OM are interested in a player who plays for a club like Le Mans.'

Samassa, who will be a back-up to chief striker Mamadou Niang, could make his debut for Marseille in Saturday's Ligue 1 match against Sochaux at the Stade Velodrome.

OM president Pape Diouf, who claimed when Cisse left that there was enough quality within the squad cover for his loss, revealed the club have had their eye on Samassa for a while.

'He is a player we know well, since our scouts have been following him for a long time,' Diouf said.

'We know his qualities - he is very good in the air and he is a guy who is capable of worrying defences.

'We aren't going to put any pressure on him. We are going to give him time to adapt.'

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